I am such a head case…

This weekend: we took a quick out of town trip. Though I got in an 8 mile training run prior to leaving, while on the trip, I had only two walks: an easy 4 then an easy 2 miler.

I just KNEW that I gained 30 pounds though I ate..what I thought was a moderate amount of food.

No: I did NOT gain weight. How I could tell prior to stepping on the scale: today, my pull ups were stronger than average, and the bench press felt weak.

pull ups: 10, 15, 10, 10, 10. Used hip hikes, Achilles, and rotator cuff for rest.
bench: 10 x 135, 2 x 180 (weak), 2 x 180 (weak), 9 x 160 (ok). 180 felt heavy. Rest: more hip hikes, rotator cuff.
incline: 10 x 135 (strong)
military press: barbell, 10 x 85, 7 x 90, 4 x 95, dumbbell: 10 x 40 (standing)
rows: 2 sets of 5 alternating, 5 together, 1 set of 7 alternating, 7 together (200 with Hammer Machine) super set with:
pull down: 3 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x (100, 100, 85) low.

Then the swim: 500 easy, 500 in 9:20 5 x 100 (alt fist/free) on 2 (1:50-53)
4 x (50 front kick with fins, 50 free (no fins)
100 side, 4 x 25 fly, 4 x 25 back.

Of note: this younger (40′s) faculty guy swam next to me for a while. In running, he runs 4 miles in the 24-25 minute range (time it takes me to do 5K). But in swimming: I lapped him. Reason: body type; he has very long legs and is slender. Then again it might be that he is just learning; he has the aerobic engine to blow me away.

July 22, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

No running or walking but

I have a “right where the leg meets the trunk of the body..on the inside” ding that tightened up on me yesterday. So I rested it.

weights (leisurely)
pull ups: 2 sets of 15, 2 sets of 10 (15: rotated arms)
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (strong), 10 x 160
incline press: 10 x 135

Note: I did rotator cuff, hip hikes, Achilles exercises to rest.

military press: barbell: 2 sets of 5 x 95, 10 x 85. Dumbbell: 10 x 40 (standing)
rows: 3 sets with 200 (Hammer), each set: 5 alternating, 5 together
pull downs: 1 set with a different machine, 2 sets of (7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low.)

1000 free
9 x 100 (alt 25 fist, 25 free) on 2. First 6 were mostly 1:48-1:49 (a couple of 1:51-1:52), 3 were 1:44-1:45,
100 in 1:44 (? I expected faster)
100 back
2 x 25 fly
2 x 25 side

Note: I got in a couple of unplanned races; older guy (no problem) and a young woman who stayed with me for 50.

Now, I have a slight shoulder ache (little on left, mostly right). It happens from time to time.

July 17, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Subpar again

I don’t know what I can attribute to blood donation (2 weeks ago today), age, and random variation.

Yesterday’s workout, while a bit slower than I’d like, was fine. But the race/long walk weekend took a bit out of me.

So, once again, Monday’s workout was sluggish; not a lot of “pop” and “fire”:

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 with hip hikes/Achilles rest (weak)

break: I saw a woman walking on the track; I told her that I was checking out her butt. (It’s ok; it was Barbara)

bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180, 10 x 160 with rotator cuff (ok)

incline press: 10 x 135

military: 10 x 85, 7 x 85 barbell, 10 x 40 (standing dumbbell)
pull downs: 3 sets of 10 x 120 (low)
rows: 3 sets of 10 x 200 (2 alternating, 1 “row” style).

Swim: very weak
4 x 250 (slow)
8 x (50 front kick, 50 free)
4 x 100 IM

But I got it done.

July 14, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Not all workouts go well

For some reason, I was really, really “off” today. Too much sitting down yesterday, or do I have a mini-bug? For some reason, most of my old injuries had the “you are about to get sick” OR “it is about to rain” ache and the workout was less than stellar…

Bodyweight: 179.5-180.5 (depending on scale) so it isn’t as if I’ve gained weights.

Weights: pull ups: 5 sets of 10; these were rough and painful (at least reps 7-10 were). rest: hip hikes and Achilles.
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 180 (weak), 10 x 160 (not that bad). rest: rotator cuff.
incline press: 10 x 135 (easy). rest: rotator cuff
military press: 10 x 85, 8 x 85, 8 x 85. rest: rotator cuff
pull down/row superset: pull downs: 2 sets of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 85 low, then one set of 10 x 120 low
rows: Hammer Machine: 3 sets of 10 x 200; one of these was alternating.

Swim: disaster: 5 x 100 on whatever; very slow; had to wake myself up.
5 x 50 (25 fist, 25 free) on 1:10 (slow; 57-58), 5 x 50 (25 fist, 25 free) on 1:05 (slow)
2 sets of 100 side, 100 free
2 sets of 100 fins (drill, 25 swim), 100 free
100 side, 100 free
4 x 25 fly (fins), 4 x 25 back (fins)

I just didn’t have it. Some young woman (serious swimmer type) did back kicks faster than my swimming. That was depressing.

But: I ached LESS after the workout and that was a good thing. But I sure sucked during it; about the only thing that went well was the bench pressing.

Some days, the workouts simply don’t go that well. That is no excuse to not do them.

July 10, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment

Moving on…


Though this was a super slow time for me, at least my posture was ok. Someone noted that I “looked strong”; that is because on this day, I never let myself feel bad. I am feeling stronger now.

Today: swimming plus weights.

Swim: a nice lady let me share a lane with her.
1000 free, 10 x (25 fist/25 free) on 1, 10 x 50 free on 1, 4 x 25 fly, 25 back (fins), 200 side, 2 x 100 IM.

On the side set, some older guy was doing crawl and “raced” me a bit. It was fun; we smiled at each other.

Performance note: my “fist/free” 50′s were 50-52 mostly, which is faster than usual for me. My guess: sharing a lane made me streamline and become “narrower” in the water. I need to focus on that more often.

Weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups, bench press: 10 x 135, 10 x 160, 4 x 170. incline: 5 x 135. military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 (standing, dumbbells), rows: 3 sets of 10 (45 plate), pull downs: 3 sets of 7 traditional with 150, 7 low pull with 75.

Supplemental: hip hikes, McKenzie, rotator cuff.

Weight: 179 after swimming. 180.4 before.

Eyestrain: a younger woman in tight purple spandex shorts and a MILF with glasses in very tight black “compression” leggings.
How they fit: reminded me of this (female) volleyball player’s lament:

I’ve pulled my spandex out of my butt so many times in volleyball matches, it’s practically part of the game.

She said that her husband bought her “no wedgie shorts” (for the love of Zeus: why?) and then concludes:

No longer do I have to worry about my shorts being so far up my butt I can almost taste them.

Oh well, time to do something that doesn’t require much in the way of concentration.

And yes, I really did get some exercise today!

July 7, 2014 Posted by | NSFW humor, swimming, weight training | Leave a comment

Triple workout and random thoughts…

Well, today I did a triple.

First: 2200 yards (1.25) of swimming: 4 x 250 on the 5, 10 x (25 fist, 25 free) on the 1:10 (lots of rest), 6 x 50 on the 1 (harder), 4 x 100 IM on the 2:30. Fastest: 2:05 (too slow)

Next: weights: pull ups (5 sets of 10), military: 2 sets of 12 x 50 seated, supported, 10 x 40 standing. dumbbell bench 2 sets of 10 x 70, incline: 6 x 135 (weak),
rows: 3 sets of 10 with 45, pull downs: 10 with 87.5 (all the way), 10 with 1xx (deeper), 7 x 150 traditional, 7 x 87.5 deep.

Supplemental: rotator cuff, hip hikes.

Final: 1:03 of slow walking.(4.25 miles)


It felt even slower than what it was.

Thoughts I wonder about my working out. For example, when I did the pull downs, I did a few sets with lighter weight with a greater range of motion. Did I do that because heavier weights are harder, or did I do it right? Who knows.

Of course, I’ve gotten older but I think some of my slow down/getting weaker is just simply attitude. There are days where I just can’t get into pushing myself hard; today was one of those days.
I almost felt guilty that I enjoyed today’s workout. :-)

And yes, I have to keep reminding myself: when I was running my best, I was running a LOT more. My body couldn’t handle that much mileage now. So I have age plus training volume plus my accumulated injuries. That all adds up.

Attitude: I am a bit down. There are probably lots of reasons for it, including:

1. Death of my mom (a few weeks ago)
2. Missing my daughter. This might seem strange but while she was in grade school, she’d spend a good part of her summer here. Now she is an adult (college student) so I see her a lot less.
3. The internet. Yes, there are good things; I like getting into discussions and seeing what people are up to. I really like that. But I need to establish more friendships to have people to do something with. And, my best friend (best “non-spouse” friend) just retired so I won’t see her as much either. I did see her yesterday and really enjoyed it.

Oh well…some of it is normal (life events; parents die and kids grow up), and some of it is my own doing. Life has been MORE than fair to me.

A bit of good news: my back. My back feels better than it has in a long time. Look at the photos from 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively:




My posture has improved a great deal. I need to stick with these back exercises.

July 5, 2014 Posted by | swimming, walking, weight training | Leave a comment

Stalling prior to yard work

I am taking today off and so will work in the yard.

I did swim and lift:

swimming: 2650 yards. 5 x 200 free (some rest…pretty slow), 10 x 50 free on 1:10 (long first 25); 50-52 mostly), 5 x 100 on 2 (alt 25 fist/free) 1:48-1:50. That is 2000
Then 4 x 50 drill/swim (fins), 5 x 50 side, 4 x 50 (fly/back). I had some back/hip ache on the crawl section.

lifting: 5 x 10 pull ups (strong?) incline: 10 x 135, 9 x 135, 8 x 135, military: 3 sets of 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing; couldn’t do 50 seated..too tired)
rows: 3 sets of 10 with a 45 plate, pull downs: 1 set of 10, 2 sets of 7 traditional (150), 7 low (85-100). I also did hip hikes and rotator cuff.


More from the Main Street Mile; the lady in the blue: she got away from me and beat me by 3 seconds.

July 3, 2014 Posted by | running, swimming, weight training | Leave a comment

Blood donation time again…

My running season is officially over; I donated blood to the Red Cross. Yes, this was whole blood and NOT double red cells! I can expect a 3-4 point drop in my VO2-max due to the donation, and a slow down due to the heat. I’ll probably be back to normal within a month. (note: double red cells would have wiped me out until at least September; after one of these, even a warm up jog gets me out of breath).

This time, I have a plan.

1. One run a week, I’ll do short intervals to get some turnover and follow it with a modest run on the treadmill.
2. I’ll race often. I have 5K races scheduled for 4 July, 12 July and 26 July. These will probably be performance disasters (due to heat and blood donation effects) but they will be “push myself” type workouts.
3. The main focus will be the Wednesday and Sunday walks; the goal remains a powerwalk marathon on 28 September. The blood donation won’t affect this training very much.

The biggest effect blood donation has is on the warm weather, “anything faster than an easy pace” run. Oxygen simply doesn’t get to the muscles very well and it is doubly bad when it is hot outside.

I still remember the day when I learned this lesson. It was 2001; I was running the Quad Cities Half marathon. I took it out at my usual 7:30 mpm pace (normal for me in those days; my best that year was 1:37) and I found myself fading during the SECOND MILE! Oddly enough, my hands began to get cold too.

During this period another runner came up beside me and said that he liked what I said on television. Then I remembered; I gave blood after the Fall Steamboat 15K and gave a statement to the press; it was 9/11 related.
So, I smiled, cut back on my pace and struggled (but no walking!) in with 1:49…of course I’d love to run that time now-a-days. But in those days, that was a slow time for me.

Speaking of sports: this 15 minute TED talk about athletics and the progression of world records is very interesting.

1. Better equipment (high tech swim suits, rubber tracks, wave minimizing gutters in pools).
2. Better training.
3. Athletes drawn from a wider pool.
4. Selection pressures: shot putters are bigger, smaller distance runners…and people who have the ideal body type finding their sports. Example Hicham El Guerrouj held the mile run world record and is only 5′ 9″. Michael Phelps won numerous gold medals in swimming and is 6′ 4″. Yet: both of these athletes wear the same pants length! Short legs are good for swimming; longer legs are good for distance running.

The video is excellent.

Workout notes
Weights plus swimming. I was 180.0 prior to lifting.

Pull ups: 5 sets of 10 with hip hikes and Achilles exercises as rest.
bench press: 10 x 135, 3 x 100, 6 x 170.
incline press: 7 x 140. rotator cuff rest.
military press: 2 sets of 10 x 85 standing (barbell), 10 x 40 dumbbell (standing)
pull downs: one set of 7 x 160 traditional, 7 x 100 low. Then 2 sets of 10 x 160 traditional, 10 x 90 machine low.
rows: 2 sets of alternating arms with the Hammer Machine: 105 each arm, then 10 x 200 both at once.

1000 easy
500 of 25 side, 25 free
4 x 100 hard (on 2; 1:42-44)
2 x 50 hard
200 of 25 fly, 25 back (fins). 2200 yards (2000 meters) total.

Note: I did a few reps where I chased the faster swimmers; they didn’t seem to mind. I even talked to one afterward. Basically, when I catch them, they realize that they are dogging it and pick it up.
That makes it fun.

June 30, 2014 Posted by | sports, swimming, weight training | , | Leave a comment

Powerful and sexy photo…


I’d lie and say that this used to be me, but it never was. Wow.

For the record: typically, I do 5 sets of 10 pullups, or, on a good day, 2 sets of 15 and 2 of 10. Yes, these are “chin over the bar, no excessive body movement” pull ups (I jerk the body just a little at times). But I am not in this type of condition. In fact, when I gain 10-15 pounds, even 10 pull ups are a real struggle and I need to take more rest between sets.

Via: Ripped Goddess (on Facebook)

June 27, 2014 Posted by | weight training | , | Leave a comment

bad attitude day

Workout notes: no desire, no motivation.

weights: 5 sets of 10 pull ups; hip hikes, Achilles
incline: 10 x 135, 3 x 155, 3 x 155, 10 x 140 (rotator cuff)
military: 10 x 85, 10 x 85, 7 x 85 barbell, 10 x 40 dumbbells (standing) (rotator cuff)
machines: 3 sets of 10 x 130 low pull down, sets of 10 with rowing.


swim: 4 sets of 250 free
5 x (50 drill fins, 50 free)
10 x 50 on 1 (6 were fist/free, 4 were free)
100 side
100 of 25 fly, 25 back

2200 or 1.25 miles.

Though I wasn’t especially weak or especially slow, I really just went through the motions today. I just had a bad attitude. Everyone and everything just annoys me today.

June 25, 2014 Posted by | swimming, weight training | | Leave a comment


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